Car-makers, telecoms bodies push standards for self-driving vehicles

Connected cars get a look-in too

New areas for standardisation that could aid with the development of new connected and autonomous vehicles will be identified by car manufacturers and telecoms companies in collaboration, industry bodies have said.

According to a joint statement issued by groups representing companies in both the automotive and telecoms industries, standardisation is one of "three priority areas" that car manufacturers and telecoms providers have identified "for further cooperation".

The statement was issued by the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association, the European Association of Automotive Suppliers, the European Competitive Telecommunications Association, the European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association and global mobile operators association GSMA.

"Standardisation is crucial for a timely and cost efficient market development of connected and automated driving," the statement said. "To that end, the two industries have agreed to map all relevant standardisation activities that are being undertaken, either by the auto industry or by the telecom industry, and to jointly determine priorities."

Expert in connected and autonomous vehicles Ben Gardner of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, said: "The information and communication industry has historically used technical standards to make complex information and communication systems possible and to ensure the compatibility of different products. A similar approach to standardisation in the automotive industry could help to facilitate fast and extensive product development for connected and autonomous driving."

The automotive and telecoms bodies also said they intend to work more closely on issues of connectivity because the emergence of computer-aided driving will depend on "upgraded communication systems that provide higher performance levels in terms of latency, throughput and reliability of the network".

"Europe must support private investment by all operators in order to foster the deployment of the necessary enhanced fixed and mobile infrastructure," the groups said. "This can be achieved by ensuring a technology neutral regulatory framework, or through public funding, in cases where investment is not feasible on a commercial basis."

The industry bodies also said they would "strengthen" their existing cooperation on addressing security issues relevant to connected and autonomous vehicles.

"To obtain customer trust in connected and automated driving, it is critical to ensure that all data transmission to and from vehicles, as well as all data processing that is required, occurs in a secure manner," they said.

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